Android This Week: Verizon App Tools; New Google Docs


Verizon (s vz) announced new developer tools this week to help build apps for its VCAST app store on both the Android (s goog) and BlackBerry (s rimm) platforms. The APIs and toolkit are aimed at helping create apps that incorporate the carrier’s location-based services. These services forego the need to use GPS and Wi-Fi-based location determination, instead using Verizon cell towers to pinpoint handset locations. This information can then be incorporated into apps that provide specific information based on the customer’s location.

Google updated Google Docs for both Android phones and the iPad (s aapl) to provide enhanced editing capabilities for those devices. Documents can now be edited on Android phones, with support for real-time document collaboration. Work teams are often scattered all over the globe, and collaboration can now have an appropriate mobile focus. Google also kicked off an extra layer of login verification that augments the standard user credentials with a special code that is sent to the user’s mobile phone.

There are ways to customize your Android phone without resorting to the drastic measure of replacing the ROM. The Android Market is full of widgets and utilities designed to tailor the phone’s look and feel in a personal way. These vary from single function widgets that add simple utility to full-blog interface replacements that can be configured as desired. The best way to show these customizations in action is on video, so that’s what we did.

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My biggest problem with Steve Jobs is his dictatorial control of the iPhone ecosystem. One of the better elements of the iPhone experience is the top down integration of the hardware, software, and apps to the iPhone platform. There is a one stop shop app store and every app works the same on every phone.

In theory, the openness of Android is awesome but it’s resulting fragmentation dilutes it’s market power. This article talks about the “VCAST app store” and a cool app that only works if you own a Verizon droid phone. I think Google should have created a mirror of the apple app store right off the jump when it launched Android, which would encourage software developers to build apps for the market.


Google Docs editing will appear soon but I don’t know why Google announced it as if it is available now. Till then you can edit Microsoft Office documents via Documents To Go and DropBox combination in Android.


Where does it show the possibillity to edit google docs on a android phone? I’m logged on through google apps…..opening docs….nothing tthat indicates that i can edit the opened document.

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